When saying about sword or knife, many people think that those weapons are dangerous. Of course, they can be used for killing. However, imagining that you are tied to a chair, and someone rescued you with a sword. That sword brings life to you again. An obvious example.
When I was in Frankfurt last month, my teacher Thorsten Schoo talked about a sword brings life, when we had some sessions of Aikido training with sword. That’s from a blood dream which made him awake and thought more about how to train with sword, not for killing, but for bringing life. I had the same feeling in one training session with Jan Nevelius sensei last week in Trondheim. His movement with a knife was not for cutting his partner, but cutting the space, giving the partner more room for moving. We can already read more about the peacefulness in Aikido everywhere. But can we keep that in mind when training?
I visited a dojo last month. People there told me that they train with sword, still keep in mind the thought of taking other down. Their idea is that they don’t kill others, but if someone is too harsh, they can still kill. As you might know already, Tokyo Riot Police trains Aikido in Senshusei course, and they can use techniques for cracking down crime.
Well… I don’t say that those ideas are wrong. Nothing wrong. We can choose to adapt to our situations.
Recently, more people ask me what Aikido means to me, why I dedicate so much time on Aikido. I came to Aikido from a technique conversation with my friend, so yes, it’s about technical side at first. But it’s not anymore. I still train Aikido techniques every day, still need to fix many details in my techniques. But through the techniques, I have been trying to find out the principals, the philosophies after that, and how to apply them to my personal life. By that way, I am training me self. And I could not make me better if I keep the feeling of knocking other down. That’s also the reason that I have trained Aikido without pain path, under my teachers Tor Anton Gaarder and Thorsten Schoo senseis, and with my Aikido friends. They don’t knock me down when I attack them. They give me time (seconds, minutes, hours or days… you name it) for thinking what I am doing. Step by step, they help me to improve myself without pain.
Jan Nevelius shared us his story, why he ends up with Yamaguchi linear. It’s because he feels happy after each training. No pain, but still effective. That’s the aim of my Aikido life. And I feel thankful for having my teachers and my friends training with me too. They are the sword cutting space, bringing me more room for developing, bringing a better life to me.